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Daddy Dee

really pleased with Logitech Squeezebox Duet

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Finally pulled the trigger on a media player after searching off and on over several years. One ongoing project, well not going much, is transferring CD's to the computer. I've done some listening with USB sound cards and a LONG cable to the preamp. Long cables have very low WAF, so I'd go months at a time w/o doing any listening at all. I've asked advice on this forum and read lots of posts regarding all manner of media player solutions. I hadn't made any decisions because I didn't want to spend alot of money and didn't always comprehend the nuts and bolts of a media server or other solution.

I'd thought the squeezebox was a good candidate for a long time, at least in terms of satisfactory sound quality. In the last round of research one thing I threw into the mix was ding for anything that required looking across the room at a player display to see the search or now playing.

Running across the "duet" online was pretty exciting. The audio module has only a status led to see and it's the remote that hosts the display. It's operation is easy. Anyone whose ever used an Ipod will find the scrolling wheel automatically familiar. No looking across the room to see what's playing or scrolling through titles.

The setup was surprisingly easy. The software is downloaded from Logitech. I'd already done this and installed it while waiting for the unit to arrive. I suppose its about as close to plug and play as a wireless device can be. The audio receiver module is a little guy. It would be close to the size of two packs of cigarettes side by side, though lower profile. This unit has only the power jack, a pair of RCA out jacks, digital output, and an ethernet port on the back. No on or off button.

The remote is impressively solid in it's fit and finish. It's rechargable battery looks like a cell phone battery and it's charging station is heavy enough that it won't blow off the desk in a breeze or get pulled off the desk by the weight of the power cord. The controls operate like the Ipod with a few more controls which are all quite intuitive. The remote goes into standby mode after a bit, but this only saves battery power. Your music selections will continue to play anyway. The remote wakes up when you pick it up. How cute is that? The battery life could be a bit longer, haven't timed it, but it's satisfactory, I think. It doesn't take too long to recharge.

In setup, when I had the receiver module talking to the wifi I thought I'd turn to the laptop and see what it took to get the music organized. I was pleasantly surprised that while I was setting up the receiver the software on the lap top was already organizing all the music. I had recently installed Windows 7 so I didn't have any music on the C drive. It had all been moved over to a second HD for safekeeping and the little rascal went out there and found all the music.

Also available are internet radio stations. I had no idea what's out there, but there's a ton of internet broadcasts in many genres of music and gobs of talk radio, too. Probably sports, too, but haven't looked for that. There is also easy acess to napster or itunes or whatever subscription service you might use.

The sound is every bit as good as a direct connection to the preamp from a usb sound card. It's really pleasing.

Well, there's lots of solutions out there for music from PC to system, but this one has exceeded my expectations. I got mine from bhphoto.com for $316 delivered.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speakers-audio/wireless-music-systems/devices/3817

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=logitech+duet&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

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I've been Jonesing for a Duet for a few months now, but have yet to pull the trigger. Many thanks for the write up. It answered some of my questions and validated my impression of the box. Maybe this year.

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Yeah, I been toying with the idea of getting one too. [:P]

Thanks for the great review Daddy Dee!

Dennie

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is this wireless between the 'puter and the squeezebox? then a simple rca connection to preamp?

if you want to stream from the computer to two audio systems in seperate rooms (ie 2 channel in one room and home theater in another) do you need two squeezboxes?

this is interesting, i've been thinking about this althought i admit i'm in the "pre research stage".

sorry to be so dense....

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I saw one in action at a Texas Hold 'Em party about a year ago. The host was more than happy to show off its slickness. Been thinking about picking one up ever since. Thanks for your concise review! It cleared up a few lingering questions on how it operates.

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is this wireless between the 'puter and the squeezebox? then a simple rca connection to preamp?

Yep. simple RCA connection to the preamp. The signal goes across the wifi router from the pc to the squeezebox.

If one desired, the squeezebox can be connected to the router via ethernet cable.

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I got one a few months ago after a another forum member recommended it. It's the best addition I've made in a long time. I just use it for internet radio directly from the wireless router - our computer doesn't even have to be on. The remote interface is great and it is an RC remote instead of IR so it can be used from anywhere in the house with no line-of-sight pointing etc.

The only disappointment is that Pandora will only stream at 128 kb instead of 192 kb (even if you pay for the premium Pandora upgrade) unless you do a pretty involved modification to stream through your computer and hard wire to the Squeezebox. It's too bad because the Squeezebox and Pandora seem to be made for each other - the Pandora interface on the Squeezebox is better than the the premium Pandora computer interface. Pandora needs to make the fix and they say they'll get around to it. It's not really a big deal, 128 kb still sounds pretty good to my ear. I haven't tried running it through a DAC yet.

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Good write-up, Dee. Your experience and impressions mirrored mine with the Squeezebox Classic I bought two or three years ago. Really well made and well thought out devices. I think they point to the future of music playback in the home. You really must try Pandora. It's free and the sound quality, while only 128kbps, is great. I'm really shocked at how good it sounds, especially in light of the bit-rate. I'm thinking of the upgrade to 256k...

Once you get deep into music ripping, you'll see you've hit the mother-lode for obsessive-compulsive music lovers. I think there's no end to how much time could be spent tweeking playlists and metadata.

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There right Dee you need to try the radio stations, I have tried a couple of the free ones and I like it, it's a nice way to find new music also. If your willing to spend a little time with it as you hear songs you rate them, it gets an idea from how you rate the songs of what you like and recommends similar sounding music, overall it works pretty good.

Now there putting the wireless connection part with Apps in some of the new Blu-ray players for $200 and less, I have even seen it on some new AV receivers.

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Yeah, I put iheartradio on my iphone. Lots of stations out there. Thought I might discover new music i'd like. Not so much. Guess i'm an old hippie.[:|]

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Great review DD, I get the feeling all you have to do is buy another "box" to have your music in two rooms. However the link you provided says it is discontinued. Do you know anything about using two boxes and one remote to have your music in two different locations...say your Living room and HT???

Thanks!

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I'm not sure about the Duet, but multiple Squeezebox Classics can be sync'ed together to play the same music and be controlled by one remote.

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Great review DD, I get the feeling all you have to do is buy another "box" to have your music in two rooms. However the link you provided says it is discontinued. Do you know anything about using two boxes and one remote to have your music in two different locations...say your Living room and HT???

Thanks!

rplace,

Yes, an additional box is all one needs to have music in another room. Each receiver has it's own unique address on the wifi. I've been thinking about doing that very thing this fall. One remote can control the two or more receivers.

One thought though, as I see them priced is that the standard ala cart price is $199 for a receiver and $199 for a remote. For $316 you can have a second complete set up. It would work the same, except for convenience you can leave a remote in each room.

edit: one more thought, in the different rooms, one can play the same musical program or a different program for each room.

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If you just want to stream audio and are not concerned about a remote, check out one of these gizmos. They come up on e-Bay once in a while and work very well. I create playlists using napster and send the audio to my two-channel system. Also works with Pandora as well as Windows Media Player. I have several transmitters and receivers for backups since they aren't made anymore. You can listen to music and still use the computer w/o any problem. Can't beat the price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/RCA-Lyra-Wireless-Transmitter-/120606431731?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

Frank

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I have 4 Duets...well, 4 Duet receivers with 1 Duet remote. From what I understand, Squeezebox Server supports up to 4 devices. My whole music library is FLAC, as Im a sucker for convenience. About a year ago, an eBay seller was selling new Duet receivers for $99 each, so I picked up 3 of them. Its pretty cool being able to sync up all of my stereos and have whole house audio. The Duet is probably one of my favorite audio purchases.

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You sold me....you should get a commission. I just placed my order. Should be here Thursday.

Now I need an idiots guide to NAS. I'd love to get a simple to use RAID system with about 1TB of data and two swappalbe drives. I'd like the entire thing to be connected to my home network. Ever since I got a phone with decent Internet access I rarely have my computer turned on at home. However, with the squeezebox I am now going to need to have a computer on to serve up my music. Who can help me out?

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Thanks DDee, your review prodded me into finally doing some research that I'd long put off.

Mine will be here Friday.

+1 on getting a commission, lol.

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Kind of late to the party, but I concur with other Duet owners.

I have had mine for 2 years. It runs through my CIA DAC, then into the preamp. Not a whole lot of difference in the audio quality, as the Duet is very good, but enough of a difference in my main system for me to keep the DAC.

Convenience is great, programming my own radio station is cool, and just playing any song or album I have on the spur is awesome.

Regards

Mike - now in Cameron Park

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Thanks DD, I've been looking into this for a while and just kept putting it off.

Funny cause I've had a list of things that I want to get and this has been on it but it is now moving up to the top and really quick. My problem is that I would also have to get a router but that's not a big deal since I just picked one out for my gf's kid. It's just that extra few $$ that I would have to spend.

James

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I had a Squeezebox three years ago; plain remote and display on the unit. Loved it, and hated it! Had some serious connectivity issues. My router and the stereo are all in the same room. Wireless was terrible and wired wasn't a lot better. It would freeze up for seconds or minutes at a time. Sometimes reboot of all related hardware was required. And it seems you had to be an entry-level programmer or at least a hacker to install the thing and keep it working. I took advantage of their 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee; I wasn't so I returned it.

I have been thinking about getting another one; maybe that have ironed out the issues, and the remote sure is cool. I am just about to place the order for my B-Day next week but got to looking at some reviews on C-Net, etc., and folks are posting recent reviews of the same bad experiences I had. Sure, there are gonna be great reviews, and many that have zero issues with it, including many on this board. But I am really skeptical; I think I am gonna wait.

I do have an i-Phone now. Someone have experience using i-Phone to control Airport device? Any problems running that on Windows? Will it stream FLAC files?

Rick

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